"Too much magic can ruin a fantasy. I was much more interested in the people."
Thus spoke George R. R. Martin in the recently released behind-the-scenes footage of the HBO Game of Thrones production.
The reason I like these various series so much is because the focus is almost entirely on the characters; the fantastical elements add texture and depth, but aren't overbearing. These are fantasies that retain a very strong human element.
I guess this leaves me somewhere in the middle when it comes to the above statement. I certainly understand the angle that GRRM is coming from, but can't fully agree with it as I like many series that really do embrace magic and/or more fantastical elements. As long as a story has strong characters, I don't think it really matters how intense the magic and other supernatural aspects are.
That's how I feel at least - I'm quite interested to see what other readers think. Do you prefer books that really crank up the fantasy elements, or do you like the magic and whatnot to be more subtle so that the characters really take centre stage? Or maybe you're like me, and you don't really care either way so long as the author spins a ripping good yarn?
Interested to hear your thoughts.